Merchant License Information

Missouri Law, §150.010 RSMo, indicates that every person, corporation, co-partnership or association of persons, who deals in selling goods, wares and merchandise at any store, stand or place occupied for that purpose, is a "merchant."

Cole County Merchant's License Required Business

If you answer yes to all the items in the list below you will need a Merchant's License (PDF):
  • You own or operate a business
  • The business is located in Cole County either within or outside the city limits of any incorporated area
  • There is a sales tax number issued to the business by the Missouri Department of Revenue
  • Product or merchandise is sold at retail
  • You collect and remit sales tax to the Missouri Department of Revenue

Merchant's License Not Required

A Merchant's License is not required if:
  • You are a registered motor vehicle dealer and your primary business is selling motor vehicles; or
  • You are a physician, dentist, or veterinarian selling medicines, at either wholesale or retail, used in your practice; or
  • You are a farmer who grows or processes any article of farm produce or farm products on your farm, as long as you do not have a regular stand or place of business away from your farm.

How to Obtain a Merchant's License

Fill out the Merchant's License Application (PDF) and return it to the Cole County Collector's office for processing.

Call the Cole County Collector's office at 573-634-9124. We'll be happy to answer your questions and send you an application. Or, if you prefer, come by our office. The collector's office is located at:
Courthouse Annex Building
311 E High Street
Room 100
Jefferson City, MO 65101

After you complete the application, attach a business or personal check for $25 and return it to the collector's office.

State Sales Tax

Your state sales tax number must be included on the application. If you need more information regarding state sales tax, please contact:
Missouri Department of Revenue
Truman Building
301 W High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-751-2836

Business License Effect

Your validated license will be mailed to you at the business location address included on the application. A Merchant's License is issued for the calendar year of January 1 through December 31. The annual license fee is $25. A business with more than 1 permanent location is required to obtain a separate license for each place of business. A county issued Merchant's License is in addition to any city or other local business license you may have.

If your business is located within Jefferson City's city limits, please contact:
City of Jefferson
Attn: Business License Office
320 E McCarty Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101

If your business is located within any other incorporated area within Cole County, please contact the local clerk to determine what, if any, licenses are required.

Moving Business License

If you do not have a permanent site for your business, but travel from place to place selling goods, you will still need a Merchant's License. If you reside in Cole County but engage in or conduct a temporary or transient business of selling goods you do need a Merchant's License so long as you meet the other requirements of the check list.

Methods of Payment

The collector's office accepts license and permit payments by cash, personal check, cashier's check, bank draft, money order or credit cards. One check may be written for multiple bills of licenses or permits, personal property, and/or real estate, if the total of the bills are added correctly. The entire amount due for the license or permit must be paid before one can be issued. Please do not send cash through the mail. License or permit fees cannot be paid online or by phone.

After you complete the application, return it and the $25 payment to the collector's office.